The Origins of Marketing and Market Research: Information, Institutions, and Markets

“To understand the rise of marketing and market research, we need to understand what these two overlapping fields are about. We must understand what problems they tried to grapple with and what their goals and methods were. Put into simple language, marketing deals with three broad complexes: information, institutions, and markets. First, it is important to stress that there is no such thing as objective information in marketing. Such information is inherently ambiguous. Its production and interpretation are deeply value-laden and influenced by the gatherer’s intentions. It directly relates to the reduction of complexity in Luhmann’s sense, as the number of categories for consumers and products has to be small, and these categories tend to ignore finer differentiations. Market research does not just rely on developing consumer profiles, although these are certainly necessary for gaining a rough understanding of the marketplace and making informed investment decisions. Market research also actively fashions and transforms consumers and markets”

Published by

Cosimo Accoto

Research Affiliate at MIT | Author "Il Mondo Ex Machina" (Egea) | Philosopher-in-Residence | Business Innovation Advisor |

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